Inter-City Driving, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Transportation
The Automobile

Inter-City Driving
Between cities, you'll have a choice of two kinds of roads: limited access and general highways. On limited access roads, which include the national interstate highway system, you must enter and exit the road only at specified interchanges. Often but not always these will be toll roads, run by the states. You will pay tolls at toll barriers. Tolls are also common at bridges and tunnels. Be careful at toll stations not to get into the “exact change” lane unless you actually have the exact change required in coins; these lanes don't take paper money. Many large roads and bridges now have electronic toll collection lanes which require a special device to be affixed to your car. Make sure to avoid these lanes if you don't have the device. On some toll roads, you will be given a toll ticket when you enter the system. The amount of the toll you will pay will depend on which exit you use. Be careful not to lose the ticket, otherwise you may be charged the highest possible toll.

Roadside Services. On limited access roads you will have to plan ahead for roadside services like food, lodging, restrooms and gasoline. Many limited access roads have service areas that offer gasoline, food and other conveniences.

General highways (or freeways) in the United States take all forms. The outskirts of most towns and cities in the United States have identical “strips” of road that offer gasoline stations, motels, discount stores, fast food outlets, and automobile dealerships. They're not pretty, but they're convenient for the inter-city driver.


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